Saturday, 26 May 2012

Some mending to do ...

I still have the first large quilt I made, I started making it in 1980 and finished it sometime in 1985.  I remember spending ages agonising over my design (worked out on graph paper with coloured pencils),  marking out all the fabric squares and triangles, then cutting them out (with scissors) and hand piecing them together.  The blocks are big, nearly six inches, but I did quite well as most of the seams match up fairly well.

Once it was pieced together, I lost interest in it for a while until I decided to quilt it.  I used calico for the backing fabric and the batting was most likely a polyester batting as that was all that was available in New Zealand then, I remember it was really puffy.  I used to do my quilting while I was on night shift in the RNZAF Base Auckland communications centre at Whenuapai.  I managed to get a lot of quilting done over the two night shifts (we worked 12 hour shifts of two days, two nights, then four off, two days, two nights etc).

Despite some mistreatment the quilt has held up well over the years, my three cats have all vomited on it at various times of their lives, and it's been machine washed and line dried in the sun.  Some of the seams are starting to come apart and I've noticed three small tears in the fabric (two made by Cody as he leapt from the bed one morning) so I need to effect some repairs.

quilt back,  actually cream in colour (not blue as it appears)

I still  have some of the blue fabric that I used as the background fabric but none of the patterned fabric. Two of the tears are on the background fabric, which is an easy fix but I need to think how to fix up the tear on the patterned pink fabric, whatever I do will be obvious, probably I will applique a shape of some sort over the tear (after I have mended it) BUT should I use the blue fabric or use a pink fabric of some sort.  The blue fabric is the original colour, it doesn't look too bright against the faded fabric. Any suggestions??


  1. How wonderful that you've had a quilt long enough that it needs mending... what history in that well-loved quilt!

    Your kitty looks quite at home lounging on the quilt...

  2. I have no real suggestions for you, but the quilt is a wonderful treasure.

  3. I think you should go with your gut and soon enough you will work out what you are comfortable with but boy did you being back some memories - I used all my night shifts sitting in the Control Tower at the RAAF Base at Richmond when there were no flights but I had to man the tower for emergencies for certain hours or long Sundays when all was quiet to knit and stitch! Ahhh memories!

  4. sounds like you have interesting memories while you were quilting that quilt. I too have old quilts that I had to repair. I would probably try to use a fabric closely matching in color to applique over it.

  5. Not knowing how big these tears are . . . I would reverse applique the spot (cut it a bit bigger, slip some fabric underneath) And I'd try to match the tone of the damaged fabric....this is assuming the tear is not where there is heavy quilting.
    Its a really lovely quilt Pip and the Quilting stitches, perfect.


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